The Saeco Vienne Deluxe hits the cost/value sweet spot for superautomatics
Positive Product Points
The machine is easy to use and, once you get the settings you like, the results are consistent and repeatable. The ability to brew anything from a single shot of espresso up to a full mug of crema allows the machine to meet your needs all day.
Negative Product Points
A bypass doser would be nice. So would a cup warmer. But at the price point, this machine seems a very nice balance of features and value. I find the all plastic housing to be a little cheesy, but again, the machine represents a good value when weighing benefits and features agaist price. The grinder works very well, but the bean bin is smallish. So is the water tank. The biggest downside, however, is its ease of use. I now drink *way* too much of this machine's wonderful output!
My wife was appalled when I told her how much I had just spent on this machine. That is, until it arrived and was put into service. Since my wife is at least as big a coffee bean as I am, she now loves the machine. We'd had a Bunn pour over machine on our counter for regular coffee, a french press for a stronger cup, and a Krups espresso maker for the high octane. The Saeco has replaced them all. Large though the machine may be, it has saved us counter space by eliminating three other appliances.
The machine is easy to learn and easy to use. While not completely intuitive, it is far easier to learn than my venerable Pavoni (which continues to stand proud, but now only as a piece of sculpture). With the Saeco, we were drinking great coffee after only about 30 minutes of brewing, tasting, adjusting, brewing, tastimg, adjusting ...... And maybe the best thing of all, this was with no mess!
Yes, you don't feel quite like the barrista at the La Pavoni with this machine, but you're drinking great coffee, consistently brewed, with very little effort. Maybe I'm getting soft, but what the hello? I can't argue with the results!
I bought the machine from coffeepeople.com. The experience was hassle free and they were quite helpful.